Birding Movies

Birds have fascinated us for centuries with their beauty, grace, and intriguing behaviors. It’s no wonder filmmakers have often turned to these avian creatures as a source of inspiration for their movies. From animated classics to heartwarming tales of friendship and adventure, there’s a bird-themed movie for every movie enthusiast. In this blog, we will explore the top 10 movies about birds, featuring their main characters, IMDb ratings, pros and cons, and a summary of each film.

The Birds (1963)

  • Main Character: Melanie Daniels (played by Tippi Hedren)
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Pros: Alfred Hitchcock’s masterful direction, suspenseful plot, and iconic bird attack scenes.
  • Cons: Some dated special effects, limited character development.
  • Summary: “The Birds” is a classic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, in which a small California town is suddenly besieged by violent bird attacks. Melanie Daniels, a socialite, becomes entangled in the chaos and must fight for survival. The film is known for its eerie atmosphere and remains a classic in the horror genre.

Rio (2011)

  • Main Character: Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg)
  • IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
  • Pros: Colorful animation, catchy music, heartwarming story of friendship.
  • Cons: Predictable plot, some cliche characters.
  • Summary: “Rio” is a delightful animated film that follows the journey of Blu, a rare blue macaw, who embarks on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro to find his true love, Jewel. The movie celebrates Brazilian culture and the vibrant world of exotic birds.

Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

  • Main Characters: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private (voiced by Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, John DiMaggio, and Christopher Knights)
  • IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
  • Pros: Hilarious humor, fast-paced action, fun spy plot.
  • Cons: Some jokes may land with only some audiences.
  • Summary: In this spin-off from the “Madagascar” franchise, the penguin quartet aims to stop the evil Dr. Octavius Brine. The film is filled with slapstick humor and witty one-liners, making it entertaining for kids and adults.

Winged Migration (2001)

  • Main Characters: Various bird species
  • IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
  • Pros: Stunning cinematography, awe-inspiring migration sequences, educational.
  • Cons: Lacking a traditional narrative structure may not appeal to those seeking a plot-driven film.
  • Summary: “Winged Migration” is a breathtaking documentary that takes viewers on a global journey alongside migratory birds. The film captures the beauty and challenges of these birds’ epic journeys, offering a unique perspective on the avian world.

The Big Year (2011)

  • Main Characters: Brad Harris (played by Jack Black), Stu Preissler (played by Steve Martin), Kenny Bostick (played by Owen Wilson)
  • IMDb Rating: 6.2/10
  • Pros: Ensemble cast, heartwarming story of passion, showcases the world of competitive birdwatching.
  • Cons: It may appeal to only some audiences, with a relatively low IMDb rating.
  • Summary: “The Big Year” is a comedy-drama that revolves around the competitive world of birdwatching. Three avid birdwatchers go on a quest to spot the most bird species in a year, leading to humorous and touching moments.

RIO 2 (2014)

  • Main Characters: Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway)
  • IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
  • Pros: Continues the vibrant and colorful animation, introduces new characters, and explores environmental themes.
  • Cons: The storyline is less compelling than the first installment.
  • Summary: In this sequel to “Rio,” Blu and Jewel discover a hidden tribe of blue macaws in the Amazon rainforest. The film combines adventure, music, and environmental themes as the characters navigate their new surroundings.

The Pelican Brief (1993)

  • Main Characters: Darby Shaw (played by Julia Roberts) and Gray Grantham (played by Denzel Washington)
  • IMDb Rating: 6.6/10
  • Pros: Gripping political thriller, strong performances by the leads.
  • Cons: Bird-related content is a subplot in a larger political conspiracy.
  • Summary: While not primarily a bird movie, “The Pelican Brief” includes a subplot involving the endangerment of brown pelicans due to corporate greed. The film is a legal and political thriller that keeps viewers on the edge.

Paulie (1998)

  • Main Characters: Paulie (voiced by Jay Mohr) and Marie (played by Hallie Eisenberg)
  • IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
  • Pros: Heartwarming tale of friendship, unique perspective through the eyes of a talking parrot.
  • Cons: It may be too sentimental for some viewers; talking parrot premise requires suspension of disbelief.
  • Summary: “Paulie” tells the story of a talking parrot who embarks on a cross-country journey to reunite with his beloved owner. He encounters a series of colorful characters along the way, highlighting the importance of love and perseverance.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003)

  • Main Characters: Mark Bittner and a flock of wild parrots
  • IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
  • Pros: Heartfelt documentary explores the bond between a man and a flock of wild parrots.
  • Cons: Limited scope compared to feature films, may have a narrow appeal.
  • Summary: This touching documentary follows the true story of Mark Bittner, a man who forms a unique bond with a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco. The film explores themes of human-animal connection and the beauty of nature in an urban setting.

Free Birds (2013)

  • Main Characters: Reggie (voiced by Owen Wilson), Jake (voiced by Woody Harrelson)
  • IMDb Rating: 5.8/10
  • Pros: Family-friendly animated adventure, time-traveling turkeys, humorous premise.
  • Cons: Simple plot, may not resonate with older audiences.
  • Summary: “Free Birds” is an animated comedy that follows two turkeys who travel back in time to prevent turkeys from becoming a Thanksgiving tradition. The film offers a fun and imaginative take on history.

From thrilling suspense to heartwarming tales of friendship, the world of bird-themed movies is as diverse as the avian creatures themselves. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic Hitchcock thriller or an animated adventure, these top 10 bird movies offer something for everyone. So grab some popcorn, sit back, and let these feathered friends take